I want to add that I’ve found vinegar to work well as a detangler, too (rinsed or left in). I’m not sure if it would have the same effect on very thick hair, but it’s worth a try if you haven’t used it before!
How do I rinse my hair with vinegar? I just keep the diluted vinegar in a glass jar and pour it over my head. The ends don’t seem to need much, so I don’t worry about soaking them. I just make sure it soaks into my scalp. But I’m sure a squeeze or spray bottle might work even better if you have one of those handy.
#2 - Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap
This seems to be a very popular shampoo alternative. Until now I’ve heard very little of Dr. Bronner’s soap, but I’ve been reading up on it and discovered some great things about it: these soaps are totally biodegradable, made with fair trade and organic ingredients, and contain only natural ingredients!
Sounds like a winner, especially if you still want a product that has a “shampoo-feel”without all the harmful chemicals. Another bonus? This soap can still be effective when well-diluted, so that makes it an inexpensive shampoo alternative as well.
#3 - Soap Bars
These are available from Dr. Bronner’s, Naturoli and many others. My experience has been these are too heavy for my hair, and some readers said they had a similar experience. But they are still worth a try if you are on the search for a good shampoo alternative.
#4 - Egg Yolk Shampoo
The idea of egg yolk shampoo is promoted in the book Gut and Psychology Syndrome. Simply wash hair using 1-2 egg yolks and rinse with vinegar. I haven’t tried this yet, but it sounds interesting. How much more natural can you get than using food as shampoo?
#5 - Baking Soda
Some readers have mentioned that baking soda can be drying, so it’s best for hair that tends to be oily. Just massage into hair and scalp, and rinse very well to avoid a stiff residue. Other readers have pointed out that baking soda may not work well if you have hard water, so keep that in mind if you're considering this shampoo alternative.
#6 - Borax and Citric Acid
Another reader emailed me this formula:
For Shampoo -In a gallon jug, add one inch of borax and fill with filtered water. Shake well before using, as the borax will settle. This mix keeps indefinitely.
For Rinse - In one quart of water, add 1/4 teaspoon of citric acid and shake well. This does not keep well, so only make enough for each use. Dr. Clark, author of The Cure for All Diseases, states that only citric acid will remove borax from the hair and skin
How to Use - Wet hair, pour on some borax mix and wash. It is odd at first use, but it feels like it is soapy when washing. Pour on the citric acid rinse and flush through hair. Dr. Clark recommends allowing it to run down body for the ph benefit.
Hopefully these methods will give you some ideas for going shampoo-free. If you have any other suggestions to share, please comment below!
Most of the ingredients you need to go shampoo-free are available through my Resources page. Check it out!